S Korea conducts anti-terrorism drills as part of UFG exercises

16:45, August 17, 2010      

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South Korea conducted on Tuesday separate anti-terrorism drills as part of the ongoing joint military exercises with the United States, despite threats from its northern neighbor accusing them of raising tension on the Korean peninsula.

On the second day of the 11-day war games dubbed the "Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG)," some 220 South Korean civilian, government and military personnel, including police SWAT team and military special forces, staged pre-choreographed drills aimed at thwarting terrorist attacks.

The exercises, held in the Korea International Exhibition Center in Gyeonggi Province, north of Seoul, included saving hostages held by terrorists, disposing bombs and removing toxic gases.

The UFG, computerized drills involving some 55,000 South Korean and 30,000 American troops, have been an annual event since 1975. But they came at a particularly sensitive time this year as tension remains high on the divided peninsula following the fatal sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

The drills follow two sets of large-scale air and naval exercises recently held in waters off the peninsula, part of a slew of punitive measures taken against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its alleged attack on the warship.

Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the sinking near a contentious sea border with the DPRK off the west coast of the peninsula.

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